Competition Mania

Now, I want to start off by saying that if you are NOT a competitive person I am NOT saying you should not still consider Cornell. But I do want to warn you that Cornell is a very competitive environment. There are several aspects of Cornell that cultivate the most competition:

-Classes: Especially classes in the sciences and engineering (and calculus); there are crazy curves and you’re constantly competing against each other for grades. Sometimes you are even competing with people who have been exposed to the material in high school. This whole thing can be very frustrating, but the thing about us Cornellians is we don’t give up, so keep pushing!

-Social Life: Fraternities and sororities are a huge part of the Cornell social experience. Whether you are a member of one or you just go to their parties, you WILL encounter situations involving Greek life. There are many people who want to join so competition is inevitable. But don’t be discouraged by the competition. If you want it then you should go for it!

-Internships/Jobs: Luckily there are internship and job opportunities all over the country and internationally, but those in finance, business, etc. and who would like to be in NYC are in constant competition with one another at the big firms that are on everyone’s wishlist. I encourage you all to look all over the country because NYC is not the only city that deserves your attention!

-Males: Here at Cornell we are about 49% male and 51% female but sometimes it feels like there are far fewer males. Especially in the minority community, many girls feel competitive toward other females for male attention. I have just one thing to say about this: THESE GUYS AREN’T THE ONLY ONES IN THE WORLD! You’re here for academics, so always remember that!


If the competition is really getting to you, just remember that college is not a race. You need to go at your own pace. If you need a break then take a break. Cornell will always be here for when you are ready! Take the time each day to take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally so you can get through the stress. Make sure you surround yourself with positive people and spend time with your closest friends. And I know sometimes it gets crazy here and the days seem to slip by, but try to talk to your parents at least once a week. If anyone can help get you through the stress and put things into perspective for you it’s your parents! Hope this helps!

2 thoughts on “Competition Mania”

  1. What types of sciences are the curves ridiculous? I’m going in as a biology and society major and worried about not doing well academically as a pre-med student.

  2. Pre-med requirements like chemistry, biology, biochemistry, genetics, etc. do run by the curve system, but do not worry about it! If you enjoy what you’re doing and make sure to get help when you need it, then you should have no problem achieving at least within the first standard deviation of the mean grade! And if you are not happy with what you are scoring, then going for office hours is very important! Do not let your worries make you change your mind!

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